Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Online ISSN : 1347-5223
Print ISSN : 0009-2363
ISSN-L : 0009-2363
Current Topics: Reviews
Carcinogenesis Models Using Small Fish
Takashi KawasakiYuki Shimizu
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2021 Volume 69 Issue 10 Pages 962-969


Experimental animals are indispensable in life science-related research, including cancer studies. After rats and mice, small fishes, such as zebrafish and medaka, are the second most frequently used model species. Fish models have some advantageous physical characteristics that make them suitable for research, including their small size, some transparency, genetic manipulability, ease of handling, and highly ortholog correspondence with humans. This review introduces technological advances in carcinogenesis model production using small fish. Carcinogenesis model production begins with chemical carcinogenesis, followed by mutagenesis. Gene transfer technology has made it possible to incorporate various mechanisms that act on cancer-related genes in individuals. For example, scientists may now spatiotemporally control gene expression in a single fish through methods including the localization of an expression site via a tissue-specific promoter and expression control using light, heat, or a chemical substance. In addition, genome editing technology is realizing more specific and more efficient gene disruption than conventional mutagenesis, in which the disruption of the gene of interest depends on chance. These technological advances have improved animal models and will soon create carcinogenesis models that better mimic human pathology. We conclude by discussing future expectations for cancer research using small fish.

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